Kirkcaldy and West/East Wemyss

This excursion will consider two sections within the Carboniferous strata of Fife. In the morning we will look at the transition from Lower Limestone Formation to the Limestone Coal Formation between Seafield and Linktown to examine the rocks exposed on the shore and discuss the industrial archaeology related to historical coal mining. In the afternoon we will travel to West Wemyss and walk the section through Middle and Upper Coal Measures strata to East Wemyss where we will search the spoil from Michael colliery for Carboniferous plant remains. We will also consider the origin and past uses of the famous caves.

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Excursion title:

Kirkcaldy and West/East Wemyss

Date & time:

22nd August 2020 9:00

Finish time:



Ian Kearsley (EGS) and Steve Livera (EGS)

Excursion aims and description:

To examine the transition from Lower Limestone Formation to Limestone Coal Formation between Seafield Tower and Linktown.  Also to visit the section of Middle and Upper Coal Measures between West and East Wemyss and  examine colliery waste from the Michael Colliery at East Wemyss for plant fossils.

We will also consider the industrial archaeology relating to the coal mining industry locally.


Coach from Waterloo Place at 9am.

Meeting point:

Waterloo Place. Coach route north out of Edinburgh, via Queensferry Road, across Forth to Kirkcaldy. Pick-up points at Barnton and Ferrytoll Park and Ride.

Car Park at 2790 8980 at south end of Kirkcaldy

First locality:

Seafield Tower 2795 8850

Excursion route:

am: a short walk from car park to Seafield Tower then return along the shore examining the rocks and industrial archaeology.

pm: coach to West Wemyss  (328 948). We will walk along shore to examine the Middle to Upper Coal Measures rocks and the mine spoil which contain abundant plant remains.  We will also examine and discuss the origin and past uses of the famous caves.  East Wemyss (337 963)

Terrain, walking distance, height gain:

Coastal paths and shore.  About 3 km in a.m. and 3-4 km in p.m.

Negligible height gain.

Specific or Medium- / High-Risk Hazards:

Rocks may be slippery on the shore.

Control measures required to mitigate against any Hazards referred to above:

Good walking shoes/boots, walking poles if used

Hard hats or Hi-viz clothing needed:


May dogs be brought on the excursion?


Toilet information:

Toilets at Morrisons supermarket 2760 8990

Geological map sheet:

Kinross 40

OS map sheet:

 67 Dunfermline/ Kirkcaldy


Kinghorn leaflet

UK Fossils website (East Wemyss)